PHOTOS: Lake Anne Nursery Kindergarten Hosts Global Villages Event

Lake Anne Nursery Kindergarten students explore, Latin American, African, Middle Eastern and Asian holiday traditions.

Students at Lake Anne Nursery Kindgergarten learn about the holidays in a Kurdish village Monday, Dec. 16. (Photo by Alex McVeigh)
Students at Lake Anne Nursery Kindgergarten learn about the holidays in a Kurdish village Monday, Dec. 16. (Photo by Alex McVeigh)
Students at Lake Anne Nursery Kindergarten got a chance to explore four different countries Monday, Dec. 16, all within about 40 minutes. 

The school hosted a Global Villages event, transforming their large multipurpose room into four separate sections, each one meant to resemble a home from around the world. 

"In the past, we've celebrated different cultures with presentations, but it was hard to keep the children's attention, and something like this allows us to really explore the nuances," said Jan Leu, who helped coordinate the event, along with the school's Multicultural Committee. 

Parent volunteers built a square frame in the center of the room, and each side was transformed into a different international scene. The sides showed the art, clothing, music, food, culture and holiday celebrations of Latin America, Africa (Gambia), the Middle East (a Kurdish village), and Asia (China). 

The Chinese side showed a home on the eve of the Lunar New Year celebration, and Leu showed students how people would eat, celebrate and dance. 

The Kurdish village highlighted the colorful rugs, art and other ways to celebrate Newroz, the Kurdish New Year. 

At the African home, students learned about the celebrations of Gambia, a western African nation. They learned about preparing their homes for the Gambian rainy season, and learned about the Parade of Fanals, where they carried parade boats and traditional instruments. 

The Latin American section was pulled from a traditional Central American residence. Students learned about traditional holiday celebrations and even sang a song. 

"We didn't want to overwhelm the students, but we wanted them to feel like they were walking into a home from each culture," Leu said. "The children were invited into each home and learned about how to people dress, eat and celebrate peace and joy during the holiday season."

Heather Robinson and Karla Gonzalez, chairs of the school's Multicultural Committee manned the African and Latin American sections, respectively. 

Leu was at the Chinese portion, and Amy Mahmetoglu ran the Kurdish section. 

Lake Anne Nursery Kindergarten was the first preschool opened in Reston, and will be celebrating their 50th anniversary along with Reston next year. More information can be found here

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